A detailed list of genes that increase the risk of heart attacks has been compiled. The scientists were helped by the Minerva supercomputer

A detailed list of genes that increase the risk of heart attacks has been compiled.  The scientists were helped by the Minerva supercomputer

In a new study by scientists from the Institute of Cardiac Research Victor Chang, the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York, and other centers in Europe and the US, have successfully identified critical genes responsible for the occurrence of coronary diseases and heart attacks.

First, we have further defined the more specific genes that can cause coronary heart disease. Secondly, we have determined exactly where the problems in the body are caused by the activity of these genes. The third major achievement was the ranking of these genes – 162 in total – in order of priority for causing coronary heart disease. – says professor Jason Kovacic, director of the Institute of Cardiac Research. Victor Chang and lead research author.

The study was conducted on a group of 750 patients – 600 with ischemic heart disease and 150 healthy subjects as a comparator. All of them underwent open chest surgery for coronary bypass surgery or for other medically valid reasons.

List of genes causing heart attack – without a supercomputer, the research would still be ongoing

From all patients collected genetic samples, then subjected to computer analysis, what a supercomputer handy Mount Sinai – called “Minerva”. Use of the supercomputer has allowed to examine the DNA code of all patients within a reasonable time. If the same task, researchers would have to be done manually, the results of their research have heard only for the next few years.

The full test results are available here. Interestingly, it is definitely worth mentioning that thanks to a very careful analysis of the genetic samples of the studied patients, Kovacic’s team was able to confirm that the PHACTR1 gene is one of the key genes when it comes to the increased risk of a heart attack.

Also read: Why are more and more young people suffering from a heart attack?

This gene has long been one of the main suspects, but only now has these suspicions been confirmed. Another interesting fact is that apart from the harmful effect of this gene on the functioning of the human organism, its full operation remains a mystery to researchers. It is a good example of how much we do not know yet about how our body works.

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The creation of such an extensive list of high-risk genes could contribute to the creation of much better genetic tests, thanks to which – as part of preventive health care – doctors will be able to identify patients at increased risk and deal with them before serious problems in their cardiovascular system develop.

– This enhanced and prioritized list of genes, which is published in this study opens up many new opportunities for more accurate genetic tests, as well as a better understanding of what causes heart attack, and the development of targeted therapies for a number of new target genes that we discovered – adds Kovacic.


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